St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, and that means that one of the biggest drinking nights of the year is coming up full throttle. Local bars are pulling out their shamrock decorations, putting together Celtic music playlists, and cooking up corned beef and cabbage to go along with the green beer they plan to serve.
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that many people have forgotten the cultural and religious significance of and have instead turned into one of the most popular drinking holidays in America. Between pub crawls, green beer drinking competitions, and Irish car bomb challenges, people of all ages spend St. Patrick’s Day drinking so heavily that they may not remember the celebration the next morning. This enormous amount of drinking that makes St. Patrick’s so fun is also exactly what makes it dangerous for everyone, due to the prevalence of drunk driving car accidents.
Now, this doesn’t mean that St. Paddy’s should not be celebrated. After all, there are many family friendly celebrations including Corktown’s Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade. However, the danger of St. Patrick’s Day drunk driving accidents implies that safety should be of concern. The State of Michigan reports that, “In 2015, law enforcement officers arrested more than 32,000 Michigan motorists for drunk driving.” They also mentioned that during the peak ‘party hours’ between midnight and 5:59 AM on March 18, 2014, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, nearly half of the car accidents fatalities involved drunk drivers. The report also said that “from 2014 to 2015, fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes increased by 3.2 percent in the U.S.”
With the increase of fatalities due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes, the State of Michigan also says, “Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in the U.S., and every single one of those deaths is preventable.” Drunk driving is a choice. It’s a choice that could end up killing or harming innocent people on the roads. Following some of the tips below, provided by the the State of Michigan, could help prevent many avoidable drunk driving car accidents this St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Safety Tips
- Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.
- Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely from the party.
- If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober.
These simple drunk driving safety planning tips may seem like common sense, but many people are excited about partying and enjoying the holiday and aren’t thinking about becoming involved in a drunk driving accident, let alone causing a drunk driving car crash. Some people don’t expect to drink as much as they do, or some people lose track of how many drinks they have had. Other people don’t know just how blurred their vision is until they are on the road. Planning before going out to party the holiday away is a smart and effective way to reduce the number of drunk driving car crashes. Designating a sober driver or finding another method of transportation like an Uber or Lyft, only takes a couple of minutes. And what’s a few minutes when lives are at stake? In line with the the State of Michigan, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests keeping the following tips in mind on Saint Patrick’s Day, to potentially prevent drinking and driving car crashes.
How to Avoid St. Patrick's Day Drunk Driving
- Designate your sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Use your community's sober ride program.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
- Always buckle up – it's still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
Armed with an “it won’t happen to me” mentality, people seem more fearless today than they have ever been. However, people should always still be prepared for dangerous situations such as car crashes and do what they can to prevent them. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that in the state of Michigan, 236 people are killed annually due to drunk driving car accidents, and according to BACtrack, the average Saint Patrick Day’s blood alcohol content rings in at 0.126 at midnight, which means that more people are staying out later and drinking, which could lead to more drunk driving car crashes during the peak hours. Michigan considers a drunk driver with a 0.08 or higher blood alcohol content. So anyone may find themselves drunk driving or affected by drunk driving, without even knowing what their blood alcohol content is. By taking drunk driving precautions like those advised by the The State of Michigan and the NHTSA, especially if driving during those St. Patrick’s Day peak hours from 12 AM to 5:59 AM, people can make sure their night stays fun and doesn’t get ruined by a potential stint in prison and a lifetime of dealing with drunk driving lawyers.
Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, which causes many drunk driving accidents. Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable but unfortunately, they still happen. Drunk driving accident deaths and drunk driving car crash injuries can be very serious and can pull families into legal nightmares. If you or anyone you know have been in a car accident involving a drunk driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM. Our drunk driving car accident attorneys can give you a free consultation today.